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What is the Vaganova Method of Ballet?

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By Sorina Fant / Edited by Samantha Bellerose, B.Ed, Dip.Dance (Performing Arts)

The Vaganova Method is one of the most popular and well recognized ballet methods in the world. Created by Agrippina Vaganova, it is a commonly taught form of ballet and many dance studios use it as the foundation and teaching syllabus for their ballet curriculum. 

This style of ballet encourages dancers to not only dance safely, but with expression. It is designed to give dancers a true understanding of how their bodies work and move. The Vaganova Method focuses on consistency to develop a solid foundation of correct form. It also emphasizes strength training to ensure that all additional skills will not only be mastered but that dancers have the physical capacity and endurance to continue their ballet education. 

Agrippina Vaganova was born in 1879 in St. Petersburg, Russia. She became a dancer at a young age and graduated from the Imperial Ballet School in St. Petersburg at 18 years old before becoming a part of Maryinsky’s corps de ballet. She had many many solos throughout her career including in Don Quixote and Coppelia. She later became a teacher, choreographer, and developed the Vaganova Method of ballet. 

The Vaganova Method is a combination of the teaching methods Agrippina Vaganova was exposed to at the Imperial Ballet School (now known as the Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet), as well as her innovation and aptitude for teaching dance. 

Many amazing dancers including Natalia Dudinskaya, and Irina Kolpakova trained under Agrippina Vaganova. Diana Vishneva, Natalia Makarova, Yuri Soloviev, Rudolf Nureyev, and Altynai Asylmuratova are famous dancers that trained under the Vaganova Ballet Method. 

This page is just one of hundreds of definitions of the many styles and genres of dance. This library is being continually added to by the writers and contributors of Dance Parent 101!